DDFP 221: Wild card recap & Ike Taylor

(NFL/Associated Press)

Dave Dameshek recaps Wild Card Weekend with Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor. (NFL/Associated Press)

 

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DDFP 221

Shek & Rank are joined by Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor for a breakdown of a wild & crazy wildcard weekend, Peyton vs. Brady, the frustration of watching the playoffs on TV, the lack of credit for Alex Smith, and which QB among the eight still standing is best.

Download: DDFP 221: Wild card recap & Ike Taylor

 

 

Inside Out: McGinest & Sharper on Cold Weather Games

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Inside Out: McGinest & Sharper on Playoff Prep

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On The Marc!

Since the moment Marc Trestman was introduced as the new Bears coach 353 days ago, I’ve suffered sleepless nights plagued by gnawing anxiety. I knew – I knew – buried somewhere deep in my TV-addled brain Trestman had a spot-on cinematic doppelgänger. The only problem: who was it?

Then, just this morning, a wildcard weekend miracle! A face flashed through my mind. It was there but an instant, but long enough to make my heart soar – Trestman’s dead ringer is Bernie Lefkowitz’s wife, Rose!

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You know… Rose! From ‘Cocoon’! I’m not sure if she actually spoke in the movie before missing her shot at eternal life because Bernie was too curmudgeonly to take her into Brian Dennehy’s ‘Swimming Pool of Youth’ (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch ‘Cocoon’ or shame the devil), but I am sure I’ll finally be able to get a decent night’s rest for the first time in almost a year.

Meantime, it’s a neat coincidence I made this discovery on the very week it was announced Trestman and his spouse Jay Cutler will now be together for the rest of eternity (or at least seven years).

Thinking of you today, Chicago Bears and Wilfred Brimley…

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Spoiler Alert: Wildcard Weekend

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Happy New Year, football fans…

Condolences if 2013 wasn’t the best year for your sports town (I at least hope it avoided making this list) – and congratulations if you’re lucky enough to be able to pencil your team’s upcoming playoff game into at least one of the 31 squares on the January page of your new calendar.

Speaking of pages, I’ve decided to take one from Andy Reid, who let his key players rest up in anticipation of the playoffs. I, too, am gonna take it easy today. Y’know, so my eyeballs and chip-scooping fingers are nice and fresh for this quartet of beauties the Commish has delivered for the first weekend of the year.

Like Reid and his peers, let’s spend some time watching tape (or, more accurately, streaming video). It’s been a long season, after all, so let’s take a stroll/drive down memory lane/the road that led us here. I’m speaking, of course, about the road(s) in Culver City, California, where I got to spend some preseason time in my “sports” car with a number of NFL players, several of whom you’ll be watching this weekend. If your team isn’t in the post-season, maybe watching one of these guys will sway you to root for his team over the next few weeks.

We’ll start off with Eagles WR DeSean Jackson:

 

Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles…

 

Bengals CB Terence Newman…

 

And Niners WR Michael Crabtree…

 

Swell fellas, no? Best wishes to them all this weekend. Speaking of which, let’s get to the games…

spoiler-alert

Warning: Do NOT continue reading if you don’t want to know the resuls of the Wildcard Round games.

(last week: 11-5; 165-93 on the season)

CHIEFS 23

COLTS 20

KC – J. Charles: 167 yds/scrimmage, TD

IND – A. Luck: 304 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

SAINTS 21

EAGLES 28

NO – J. Graham: 128 yds, 2 TDs

PHI – L. McCoy: 114 yds, TD

CHARGERS 13

BENGALS 22

SD – N. Novak: 2 FGs missed after illegal formation penalties

CIN – A. Dalton: 399 yds, 2 TDs

NINERS 27

PACKERS 24

SF – F. Gore: 19 carries, 106 yds, TD

GB – E. Lacy: 19 carries, 53 yds

Enjoy the wildcard games, everybody! I hope your team wins…

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Shame/Shek Report: Week 17

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Stuff (for the Week of 12/30/13)

1. Niners at Packers in subzero Lambeau

2. Derrick Harvey

3. Babyback ribs

4.  ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

5. Not being from Cleveland

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DDFP 220: Giovani Bernard & Wild Card Weekend Preview

Associated Press

Dave Dameshek chats with Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard on #DDFP 220 to preview Wild Card weekend. (Associated Press)

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DDFP 220

Shek & Rank are joined by Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Giovani Bernard, who offers some perspective on the effect of cold weather on players and the upcoming wild-card playoff game against the San Diego Chargers. Shek & Rank then reveal their Wild Card Weekend picks and which matchups would be the most entertaining going forward in the postseason.

Download: DDFP 220: Giovani Bernard & Wild Card Weekend Preview

 


 

The 2013 Sonic Award

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2014 is already shaping up to be a good year for Seattle sports fans. The road to the Super Bowl runs through the rowdy-and-raw C-Link this month. The Mariners have already landed the off-season’s biggest free agent, Robinson Cano. Billionaire Chris Hansen continues his quest to catch the Predators – or any other NHL or NBA team – sooner rather than later. And the Huskies are on the cusp on exciting new era with innovative pigskin coach Chris Peterson.

How far away, then, 2008 must seem. That calendar year was arguably the most painful any sports town’s fanbase has ever had to endure. Every one of Seattle’s major teams – the Seahawks, Mariners, Sonics & Huskies – had losing seasons. Even worse, the Sonics put the sour cherry on top of the curdled sundae when they packed up reigning Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant and moved to Oklahoma City.

That apocalyptic 2008 inspired this empathetic sports fan to create the Sonic Award, which acknowledges – and pays tribute – to the citizens who’ve suffered the most over the past calendar year. Defining “suffering” isn’t necessarily as simple as identifying which town had the worst win percentage, though. Thanks to one last-second shot by Ray Allen in the Finals, San Antonio Spurs fans felt more pain in 2013 than anyone who roots for the Charlotte Bobcats (assuming anyone does, in fact, root for the Bobcats). In other words, it’s more just numbers: the Sonic Award is voted on by a blue-ribbon panel comprised of my head, heart, eyeballs and gut.

Before the presentation of the 2013 Sonic, here’s a look at the previous “winners”:

2008 SEATTLE

(Seahawks 4-12, head coach Mike Holmgren departs; Mariners 61-101, fire GM Bill Bavasi/manager John McLaren & release 1B Richie Sexson during the season; Sonics 20-62, depart for OKC with ROY Kevin Durant; U of Washington football 0-12; UW basketball 16-17)

2009 CLEVELAND

(Browns 5-11; Cavaliers 66-16, get #1 seed in Eastern Conference, but lose to Orlando in Conference Finals; Indians 65-97; Ohio State basketball 22-11, #8 seed in NCAA tourney but lose to #9 Siena)

2010 CLEVELAND

(Browns 5-11; Cavaliers 61-21, get #1 seed in Eastern Conference, but lose to Boston in 2nd-rd; LeBron James leaves Cavs for Miami; Indians 69-93; Ohio State football 12-1, but forced to vacate wins for NCAA violations; Ohio St basketball 29-8, #2 seed in NCAA tourney, but upset by #6 Tennessee)

2011 WASHINGTON, DC

(Skins 5-11; Nationals 80-81, Stephen Strasburg undergoes Tommy John surgery; Wizards 23-59; Capitals 107 pts, get #1 seed in Eastern Conference, but swept in 2nd-rd by Tampa Bay; Georgetown basketball 21-11, get #6 seed in NCAA tourney, upset by #11 VCU)

2012 PITTSBURGH

(Steelers 8-8, miss playoffs; Penguins 108 pts, humiliated in Rd One of Playoffs by arch rival Philadelphia; Pirates 79-83, collapse in second half of season – again, record 20th-straight losing season; Pitt basketball 22-17, misses NCAA tourney; Pitt football 6-7)

And to that ignominious list, we now add the 2013 Sonic Award winner…

New York City!!!

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Wait. New York City?

But what about Atlanta? They had the disappointing Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs, another mediocre year from the Hawks, and another post-season flop by the Braves.

And what about Dallas?  The Cowboys, Rangers, Mavs, and Stars all missed the post-season.

And Cleveland? What about Cleveland?! The Browns went 4-12, traded away the 2012 Draft’s 3rd overall pick, then fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after one season. The Tribe’s post-season lasted exactly nine innings thanks to Tampa Bay knocking them off in the wildcard game. The Cavs went 24-48, then re-hired Mike Brown. On purpose! The Buckeyes went 12-1, but blew a chance at the BCS title game with a loss to Michigan St in Big Ten Championship.

Yes, all worthy nominees… but ultimately, the choice here is based on the high quantity of mediocrity over those aforementioned quality-poor towns. NYC (and the tristate area) are represented by at least two teams in each of the four major sports. That means their citizens are mathematically twice as likely to root on a champion… and yet, none of their teams could even get past the second round of the playoffs. The Yankees’ best players were injured, suspended, retired, got fat(ter), or bailed via free agency. Meantime, the Yanks’ arch rival Red Sox won the World Series. Eli the Elite was outplayed by the pedestrian Geno Smith, who may or may not be replaced before the 2014 season starts. The Knicks and Nets had promising first halves in 2013, but let’s not Kidd ourselves: both are now abject embarrassments. The Blueshirts, Isles and Devils have settled into irrelevance. And speaking of irrelevant, there’s the St John’s basketball program. How is it possible, in the mecca for hoops, that no one can figure out how to recruit the area’s most talented kids to play for the Big East’s local representative?

In summation, NYC deserves this year’s Sonic:

2013 NEW YORK CITY

(Giants 7-9, Eli Manning throws 27 INTs; Jets 8-8; Yankees 85-77, lose 2B Robinson Cano/OF Curtis Granderson to free agency, Mariano Rivera retires, Alex Rodriguez suspended through ‘14; Mets 74-88, pitcher Johan Santana misses entire ’13 season with shoulder injury, pitcher Matt Harvey will miss ’14 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery; Knicks 54-28, lose in 2nd rd of playoffs to Indiana; Nets 49-33, lose in 1st rd to Chicago; two NBA teams a combined 19-42 in 2013-’14 season; Rangers 56 pts, lose in 2nd-rd of Stanley Cup Playoffs; Islanders 55 pts, lose in 1st-rd of Stanley Cup Playoffs; Devils 48 pts, miss playoffs; three NHL teams a combined 50-56-17 in 2013-’14; St Johns basketball17-16)

Better luck in 2014, Apple…

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N ‘if’ L: What if Russell Wilson wasn’t a Seahawk?

Russell Wilson on the East Coast? Peyton Manning in the Northwest? Dave Dameshek explains how that could’ve happened had Matt Flynn not had one big game in 2012. Courtesy of Bindledog.com.